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  • This indicates that vv. 1-11 are a concluding word to the preceding section (1 Pet. 4:12-19), concerning suffering for Christ in nobly doing right. The exhortation is spread over the elders in the church in vv. 1-4, over the younger members in v. 5, and over all in common in vv. 6-11.

  • Elders are the overseers of the church (see note 1 Tim. 3:21b), those who take the lead among the believers in spiritual things (Heb. 13:17). The apostle exhorts them first, expecting that they will take the lead to suffer nobly for Christ.

  • Peter was the first of the initial twelve apostles (Matt. 10:1-4; Acts 1:13), and, while he was an apostle, he was also one of the elders in the church at Jerusalem, as was the apostle John (2 John 1:1; 3 John 1:1; Acts 15:6; 21:17-18). Here, in exhorting the elders in the other churches, Peter used not his apostleship but his eldership that he might speak with them on their level in an intimate way.

  • Peter and the early apostles were witnesses of Christ (Acts 1:8), not only as eyewitnesses testifying of what they had seen of Christ's suffering (Acts 5:32; 10:39) but also as martyrs vindicating their testimony by suffering martyrdom for Him (Acts 22:20; 2 Cor. 1:8-9; 4:10-11; 11:23; 1 Cor. 15:31). This is to share in the sufferings of Christ (1 Pet. 4:13), to participate in the fellowship of His sufferings (Phil. 3:10).

  • Peter was first a witness, a martyr, a partaker of the sufferings of Christ, then a partaker of His glory (Rom. 8:17). Christ Himself had gone the same way (1 Pet. 1:11; Luke 24:26).

  • To shepherd the flock of God requires suffering for the Body of Christ as Christ suffered (Col. 1:24). This will be rewarded with the unfading crown of glory (v. 4).

  • Lit., little flock; i.e., the church of God (Acts 20:28), which is little in number (Luke 12:32) compared with the world. The church as the little flock is a little herb for the supply of life, not a big tree for birds to lodge in (Matt. 13:31-32 and notes), not a huge religion like Christendom.

  • Taking the oversight, looking diligently to be aware of the situation.

  • I.e., according to God's nature, desire, way, and glory, not according to man's preference, interest, and purpose.

  • I.e., exercising lordship over the ruled (Matt. 20:25). Among the believers, besides Christ there should be no other lord; all should be servants, even slaves (Matt. 20:26-27; 23:10-11). The elders in the church can exercise only leadership (not lordship), which all the believers should honor and follow (1 Thes. 5:12; 1 Tim. 5:17).

  • Lit., lots, portions; hence, allotments, portions entrusted, referring here to the flock mentioned in the following clause. The churches are God's possession, allotted to the elders as their allotment, their portion, entrusted to them by God for their care.

  • I.e., taking the lead to serve and care for the church, that the believers may follow.

  • See note 22.

  • At the apostle's time crowns were given to victors in athletic games (1 Cor. 9:25; 2 Tim. 4:8). Those were corruptible crowns, whose glory faded. The crown given by the Lord to the faithful elders will be a reward for their loyal service. The glory of this crown will never fade. It will be a portion of the glory for the overcomers' enjoyment in the manifestation of the kingdom of God and Christ (2 Pet. 1:11).

  • Although the Greek word is the same as in v. 1, it should, in principle, refer to all older men.

  • The Greek word is derived from a noun meaning a slave's apron; such an apron girded up the slave's loose garments in the service. It is used here as a figure of speech, signifying the putting on of humility as a virtue in service. This figure came evidently from Peter's impression of how the Lord girded Himself with a towel when He humbled Himself to wash the disciples' feet, especially Peter's (John 13:4-7). The thought of girding up had already been introduced by Peter in 1 Pet. 1:13.

  • Or, lowliness; as in Eph. 4:2.

  • A strong word used for an army preparing to resist the enemy.

  • Lit., those having a show above (others).

  • Referring, strictly, to the Triune God Himself as the life supply, which is multiplied in the humble believer. See note 1 Pet. 1:212f and note 1 Pet. 4:102.

  • Or, lowly; as in Matt. 11:29.

  • In Greek the word is in the passive voice, indicating being made humble by God, mainly through sufferings in persecution (v. 10). This, however, requires that we cooperate with God's operation; we must be willing to be made humble, lowly, under the mighty hand of God. Hence, be humbled. Humbled is passive, but be is active. While God is acting to operate on us, we need to take the initiative to be operated on by Him. To take the initiative is active; to be operated on is passive. This is our willingness to be under the hand of God, which is mighty to do everything for us.

  • To be submissive to God's mighty hand, to be willing to be made lowly, is to take the God-honoring way that gives Him the ground to exalt us in His time. To be willing to be made low by God's humbling hand in His discipline is a prerequisite to being made high by God's exalting hand in His glorification.

  • Or, throwing...upon; i.e., committing... to, giving up...to. The tense of the verb indicates a once-for-all act.

  • I.e., the whole lot of your anxiety throughout your entire life, the whole life with all its anxiety.

  • Or, worry, care. The sufferings experienced by the believers in their persecution cause them to worry and be anxious. They need not only to be humbled, to be brought low from their pride, their haughtiness, but also to throw their life with its care upon God; for He is not only mighty and just but also loving and faithful concerning them.

  • Or, He cares for you. The disciplining and judging God has a loving concern for the believers, especially the persecuted ones. He cares for them faithfully. They can throw their care on Him, especially in their persecution.

  • To be sober is to have a clear mind of sobriety and self-control that we may know, especially as disclosed in this chapter, God's purpose in disciplining us and His enemy's scheme to destroy us. See note note 1 Pet. 4:73.

  • To watch is to be vigilant as in warfare, as with soldiers on the frontier. Here it refers especially to the suffering believers' being watchful against the anxiety that the enemy brings in while they suffer persecution.

  • Lit., an opponent (in a lawsuit); referring here to Satan, who is our accuser (Rev. 12:9-10 and note Rev. 12:94c).

  • Howling in hunger.

  • This indicates the devil's constant and aggressive activity in seeking prey.

  • Peter here warned the believers who were suffering in persecution. If they would not be humbled under God's mighty hand (v. 6) and cast their anxiety on God (v. 7), they would be devoured by the roaring lion, the devil, their adversary. This teaches us that pride and anxiety make us delicious prey to satisfy the hunger of the roaring lion. In this matter Peter no doubt could not forget the Lord's warning to him regarding the devil's desire (Luke 22:31).

  • Not to resist nor to struggle against but to stand firmly, like a rock, on the ground of our faith before the roaring devil.

  • Your faith refers to the believers' subjective faith, their faith in God's protecting power and loving concern.

  • I.e., sufferings in persecution, according to the context of this chapter and the preceding one.

  • Here but, indicating a contrast, brings in a word of comfort and encouragement to the suffering believers: You and your brotherhood are suffering your adversary's threatening, the devil's lion-roar, for only a little while, but the God of all grace, of the bountiful and gracious supply of life that exceeds all your need, will perfect, establish, strengthen, and ground you.

  • All grace refers to the riches of the bountiful supply of the divine life in many aspects ministered to us in many steps of the divine operation on and in us in God's economy. The initial step is to call us, and the consummate step is to glorify us, as mentioned here in who has called you into His eternal glory. Between these two steps are God's loving care while He is disciplining us, and His perfecting, establishing, strengthening, and grounding work in us. In all these divine acts, the bountiful supply of the divine life is ministered to us as grace in varied experiences (see note 1 Pet. 1:212f and note 1 Pet. 4:102). The God of such grace will perfect, establish, strengthen, and ground the persecuted believers after they have suffered a little while.

  • I.e., to partake of, to participate in.

  • In Christ Jesus indicates that the God of all grace went through all the processes of incarnation, human living, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension to accomplish the complete and full redemption that He may bring His redeemed people into an organic union with Himself. Thus they can participate in the riches of the Triune God as their enjoyment. All the steps of the divine operation are in Christ, who is the embodiment of the Triune God and who became the all-inclusive life-giving Spirit as the bountiful life supply to us. It is in this Christ, through His all-inclusive redemption and based on all His achievements, that God can be the God of all grace to call us into His eternal glory and to perfect, establish, strengthen, and ground us in the Triune God (1 Pet. 1:1-2) as the solid foundation, thus enabling us to attain His glorious goal. What a miracle that fallen sinners could be brought into God's eternal glory! And how excellent is His perfecting, establishing, strengthening, and grounding work in us! This is all accomplished through His "all grace," which is the "true grace" (v. 12).

  • Indicating that God is personally active in the work of grace.

  • Lit., to set fast, to confirm. The same word was used by the Lord in His charge to Peter in Luke 22:32.

  • Its meaning is very close to establish.

  • Derived from the word that means foundation. Hence, it means to ground solidly, as in Matt. 7:25, Eph. 3:17, and Heb. 1:10. There is a progression in the four divine acts of grace. Perfecting leads to establishing, establishing to strengthening, and strengthening to grounding in the God of all grace — the Triune God in His dispensing (1 Pet. 1:2) as the solid foundation.

  • Some MSS omit, the glory and.

  • Peter was an eyewitness (v. 1), testifying of what he had seen and experienced. He testified that what he wrote in his Epistle as an account of God's grace is true.

  • Referring to the "all grace" in v. 10. The apostle charged the believers to enter into this grace and stand in it. This book was written mainly to show the persecuted believers God's governmental purpose in their sufferings. That they may pass through those sufferings, God supplies them with all the multiplied, varied, and true grace (v. 10; 1:2; 4:10), which is sufficient to enable them to participate in the sufferings of and for Christ (1 Pet. 2:21; 3:14-17; 4:12-16) and which will perfect, establish, strengthen, and ground them in the Triune God and bring them into His eternal glory (v. 10).

  • The Greek word and its definite article are feminine. It may refer to Peter's wife, who traveled with him (1 Cor. 9:5), or to a prominent sister in the Lord, who was chosen by God not only with the recipients of this Epistle but also with Peter and all other believers. Some suppose that it refers to the church.

  • Through the centuries the great teachers have held two different interpretations of this name: that it is figurative, referring to Rome, the capital of the Roman Empire, or that it is literal, referring to Babylon, a large city on the Euphrates (Perath). The reasons for the latter interpretation are more logical than those for the former. First, it seems that Peter had no reason to use a figurative name to hide the name of the city he was in at the time. Second, all the names he used for the places in the address of his Epistle (1 Pet. 1:1) were literal. Third, in the New Testament the name Rome is always clearly mentioned (Acts 19:21; 28:14, 16; Rom. 1:7, 15), even up to the time of the writing of Paul's last Epistle, 2 Timothy (2 Tim. 1:17), which was written probably after 1 Peter. It was when John's Revelation, a book of figures, was written, about A.D. 90, that the figurative name Babylon the Great was used for the city of Rome (Rev. 17:5; 18:2).

  • John Mark (Acts 12:12, 25), the writer of the Gospel of Mark. As Peter's spiritual son, he was there with Peter. Later he was taken to Paul by Timothy (2 Tim. 4:11).

  • Peace results from grace and issues from the enjoyment of the Triune God. Such enjoyment of God as the multiplying and multiplied grace (1 Pet. 1:2), the varied grace (1 Pet. 4:10), the all grace (1 Pet. 5:10), and the true grace (1 Pet. 5:12), as the reality of the contents of the Christian life under the government of God, issues and results in a condition of peace with both God and man.

  • Peter stressed the fact that the believers are in Christ (1 Pet. 3:16; 5:10). It is of God and through our faith and baptism that we are in Christ (1 Cor. 1:30; John 3:5; Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). This results in an organic union with the Triune God (Matt. 28:19) and makes us one spirit with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17).

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